Points to ponder as the Canucks not only talked the talk, they walked to walk to open a 3-1 lead before squandering a 4-3 edge. Chris Tanev won it in overtime as the Canucks collected a confidence-building 5-4 decision Thursday over the red-hot Golden Knights at Rogers Arena:
YES, THE TAN MAN CAN:“I didn’t think it (pass) was going to get to me and ended up on my stick and I went around Fleury’
Hands up. Who had Chris Tanev in the overtime-goal pool? Nobody? Thought so.
Tanev does so much for the Canucks on a nightly basis — he led the club with three blocked shots Thursday and is third in the NHL with 83 blocks — and the fact he found a way to beat Marc-Andre Fleury for the overtime winner for his second goal of the season was beyond poetic justice.
His effort was better than his celebration and judging by the post-game reaction in the room, the decisive goal couldn’t have gone to a better guy.
“I’m super happy for Taney,” said Jacob Markstrom, whose late-game blocker save off Paul Stastny could have been the headline. “He’s been playing good and he’s a guy who never complains and always does more than expected.”
“That was pretty,” added Tanner Pearson. “I’m not so sure about his celebration, but the goal was pretty.”
As for the winner, Tanev seemed somewhat surprised that the pass actually got to him and he somehow got it by Fleury.
“I just passed it to Bo (Horvat) and went to the net and he made a really great pass,” started Tanev. “I didn’t think it was going to get to me and ended up on my stick and I went around Fleury and it ended up going in.
“We’ve been struggling lately and it’s been tough to find wins and it’s big. Hopefully, we can get on a roll. They took it to us badly in Las Vegas (6-3 loss Sunday) and it’s huge to get a win against a team that you know is going to be there at the end of the season.”
GREEN SEES GOLD: ‘This was a little bit of a hurdle against that team. They’ve had their way with us. We stood tall’
This how the Canucks coach started his post-game press conference:
“Good effort. We had a lot of guys play well and a hell of a win against a really good team. I didn’t feel like we were under siege at all and I loved the way we started the game.
“You get up on a team like that by a couple of goals and you know they’re still going to get their chances. But it wasn’t like we were going to sit back and defend. We had the lull in the second period and I liked how we got our composure back.”
He could have gone on an on because after three-straight losses and four in the last five games, a hockey-mad market was mad. Who was to blame? The players, the coach, the general manager.
But on a night where Elias Pettersson not only scored two goals but looked more than comfortable in a big boys’ game — he also rang another shot off the crossbar — there was a lot to take from the game. The Canucks didn’t get run out of their building when the Golden Knights cranked up the hitting and poking and prodding and jabbing.
You want a taste of what it could be like if the Canucks make the postseason? Well, you got it Thursday. Green even called a time-out after the Golden Knights rallied for two quick second-period goals to make it 3-3.
“It was a chance for our team to take a breath and the confidence level of our team is probably not as high as it has been,” admitted Green. “I maybe sensed we were fragile for a few seconds after they tied it. It happened fast. I just wanted us to re-focus and it (win) takes a little pressure off them.
“It also justifies that this was a little bit of a hurdle for us against that team. They’ve had their way with us. And when they crank it up physically, it can go one of two ways — either you crumble and back off or stand tall — and I thought we stood tall. Down the road when we start playing playoff games, it’s going to be heavy like that.”
MARKSTROM’S GAME-SAVER: ‘You want to have an impact. You want to help and that was my time to step up’
The Canucks weren’t going to totally deny a club on an 8-2-1 roll heading into Thursday’s clash. They knew it. Jacob Markstrom knew it.
He kept his poise early in the game when the Golden Knights pressed for the equalizer by staying square and calm. He denied Chandler Stephenson on a short-handed opportunity before Pearson struck to make it 2-1 on the power play. There was that backhander chance in tight in tight by Mark Stone.
Markstrom had little chance on the goals that beat him and gave the Canucks a chance to win — especially when he robbed Stastny with a blocker save on a power play late in regulation and had 38 saves before overtime.
“The puck kind of came out back side and it was more of a desperation save and I just tried to get over to the post as quick as possible,” said Markstrom. “That was a timely save. You want to have an impact. You want to help the guys and that was my time to step up.
“We just needed a win and I didn’t care how it looked. They don’t dump a lot of pucks in. They cycle and lot and they’re all about possession — a little bit of European-style hockey. You see the Russian and Swedes do that stuff and they don’t like to give away the pucks when they have it.”
KILLING THEM SOFTLY:‘If you’re slipping, you kind of let them dictate the PP instead of you dictating the PK’
There’s no glamour in penalty killing.
Do it right and nobody really notices because it doesn’t show in individual statistics — unless you’re taking the draws — and doing it wrong often puts you in the highlight reel for the wrong reason.
Jay Beagle has made a career of being a force in the face-off circle, being good in shutdown match-ups and a pain to play against on the power play. And when the penalty kill goes from top-10 status to 16th and just 24h at home, it’s going to raise eyebrows.
To his credit, Beagle knows how to keep it light in the room and even in warm-ups and owns it when it’s a mea culpa.
The Montreal Canadiens scored on their two power-play chances Tuesday to turn a 1-1 struggle into a 3-1 cushion. The Vegas Golden Knights scored on two of their four chances Sunday in a 6-3 triumph and they went 0-for-1 on Thursday because the Canucks were disciplined in a game that featured 53 hits.
Penalty kill success isn’t rocket science. It’s predicated on push and structure and health.
At one point this season, prime kill guys Beagle, Brandon Sutter and Tyler Motte were all sidelined by ailments, It pressed Bo Horvat, Tanner Pearson and Loui Eriksson into those roles with mixed results. Beagle is at his best with Tim Schaller, who was re-inserted into the lineup Thursday in place of the injured Sutter.
So, what’s missing?
“It’s that urgency and compete,” said Beagle. “Even that game (Tuesday), the guy (Tomas Tatar) slips in behind me and I wasn’t urgent enough on my part. They get the 2-1 goal (PP) and the next one (PP) and we lose because we didn’t get the job done on the PK.
“Familiarity is huge. It makes the job that much easier because you know exactly what he (PK partner) is going to do before he does it. But when guys get hurt, there are switch-ups and changes and you have to still learn to get the job done — no matter what.
“There lots of talk. I like killing with Motte, too, because he’s very smart and has a great stick. It’s just a matter now of knowing his tendencies and making sure that we’re talking a lot and reading off each other. And sometimes, that takes a little bit of time to come, too.”
Beagle is usually a beast in defensive-zone draws. He’s seventh overall with a 57.9 per cent success rate and has won 58 of 101 PK assignments, even though he has to take draws on his weak side because the PK gets to dictate O-zone face-offs.
“They’re so key because if you’re slipping, you kind of let them dictate the PP instead of you dictating the PK,” added Beagle. “Even if we don’t clear, they’re fighting to get the puck back.”
BOUCHER’S RECORD BLAST: ‘I’ve seen him make some crazy plays and win games. He can score in a lot of ways’
Reid Boucher isn’t the faster skater, but he has a quick grip on NHL reality.
The Utica Comets winger set a franchise record for career goals Wednesday with his 76th in 125 AHL games during a 4-3 win at Belleville. He passed Darren Archibald, who managed 75 in 304 games.
Boucher not only has 20 goals in his first 24 outings this season — the left-winger leads the league in that category and his 34 points are tied for the best output — but his ability to understand the roster rationale and recall pecking order with the parent club, while leading by example in the minors is a major accomplishment.
“I take everything in practices seriously when it comes to shooting the puck and trying to score in practice and that’s been part of my success for the last couple of years,” said Boucher. “I don’t think it’s a matter of staying positive, it’s controlling what I can control. I can’t control being called up or sent down, but I can control how hard I work.”
His roster fate was cemented on Day 1 of training camp at Victoria. The arrival of wingers J.T. Miller and Micheal Ferland through offseason acquisitions only added to a glut of forwards. A leaner and driven Boucher was there to push the pace and push those who had been pencilled into a particular place.
He did just that.
And being on his fourth-consecutive one-year contract — this one pays US$750,000 at the NHL level and $450,000 in the AHL — is as much about handling his attitude as his game.
“He’s a good pro,” said Green. “He’s a big part of their team and a good leader, too, and that’s one thing that goes unnoticed. And when you talk about dragging them into the fight, he’s a guy with who it’s not just about goals with him — every day he plays hard and will fight once in a while.
“I have a lot of respect for what he’s done down there.”
It’s the shot that sets Boucher apart.
A quick, hard and accurate release allowed the 26-year-old Lansing, Mich. native to score 20 goals in 133 career NHL games with New Jersey, Nashville and Vancouver.
He uses an STX composite stick that has a 75 flex rate, which players have called a “noodle.” Brock Boeser made his mark as a rookie with a 90 flex because he has the strength and skill to get a lot on his shot and pick corners. What’s the deal with Boucher’s low-flex stick?
“It lets me shoot the same with less effort,” he said. “Shoot hard without loading the stick as much and it comes off (the blade) quicker.”
Jalen Chatfield is in his third season with the Comets and has witnessed Boucher’s impact. The recalled derenceman lauded Boucher’s caring, work ethic and leadership.
“He was really great for me my first year down there,” said the 23-year-old Chatfield. “He a big part every night and when he’s out, you can see it in our power play. He’s one of the best — if not the best — scorers in the AHL.
“I’ve seen him make some crazy plays and win games for us. He can score in a lot of ways. If teams let him slip away, he moves around and reacts with that shot — he’s always a threat.”
How to Spot a Trustworthy Online Casino in Canada
Spotting a trustworthy online casino isn’t hard once you know what to look for, but until then, you better hold off on signing up or making a deposit. This quick guide on how to find a reputable online casino will cover five different factors you can evaluate to determine whether or not a casino is trustworthy. While you could just use a site like the trusted source WikiHow that lists the best online casinos Canada, it does help to be able to evaluate the trustworthiness of casinos on your own. Likewise, you shouldn’t believe everything you read on the internet. Casino review sites are a great resource, but it doesn’t hurt to also do a little digging of your own. Without further delay, here’s a quick and easy guide on how to spot a trustworthy online casino.
Checking for Proper Licensing and Regulation
One of the first things you should do when assessing the trustworthiness of the best online casinos Canada is to check for proper licensing and regulation. Reputable online casinos are licensed by recognized regulatory bodies such as the Malta Gaming Authority, the UK Gambling Commission, or the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority. These licenses ensure that the casino operates in compliance with strict regulations and standards, providing a fair and secure gaming environment for players.
Never play at a casino that does not have a license or whose license is unverifiable. The easiest way to verify a license is to head to the licensor’s website and cross-check their registry with the name of the casino you’re looking at. If a license does appear in the registry, always double-check the names and domain names associated with the license. Some scam sites use domains that look similar to real casinos and act as if they are operating under their license. When in doubt, head to the URL listed on the license you find in the registry to be sure that you’re at the right site.
Evaluating the Casino’s Security Measures
Examining the Casino’s Game Selection
Game selection is another important factor to consider when choosing from the best online casinos Canada. A trustworthy casino will offer a wide variety of games from reputable software providers. Look for popular titles from well-known developers such as Microgaming, NetEnt, and Playtech. Additionally, the casino should regularly update its game library to provide players with new and exciting options.
Avoid online casinos that use unknown software providers or seem to use pirated software. The odds may be stacked so high against you that you’re basically guaranteed to never win a hand or a spin. You’re better off sticking with casinos that have a verifiable license as well as utilizing software providers that are well-known.
Verifying the Casino’s Customer Support
Good customer support is essential for a positive online casino experience. A trustworthy casino will have a responsive and knowledgeable support team available to assist you with any queries or concerns. Look for casinos that offer multiple support channels, such as live chat, email, and telephone. Additionally, check for the casino’s operating hours to ensure that support is available when you need it. You should also try and give their customer support a test run. By simply asking their 24/7 Live Chat simple questions about the site, you can get a feel for their response time and overall knowledge. Sites with poor customer service will often take a long time to connect to an agent and be unable to answer even the simplest of queries.
Looking for Fair and Transparent Bonus Terms
Bonuses and promotions are a common feature of online casinos, but it’s important to carefully review the terms and conditions associated with these offers. A trustworthy casino will have fair and transparent bonus terms, clearly outlining the wagering requirements, maximum bet limits, and any other conditions that apply. Avoid casinos that have overly restrictive or confusing bonus terms, as this may indicate a lack of transparency.
In conclusion, when looking for a trustworthy online casino, it’s important to consider factors such as proper licensing and regulation, security measures, game selection, customer support, and bonus terms. By taking the time to evaluate these aspects, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable gaming experience. Remember to always gamble responsibly and set limits for yourself to avoid any potential issues.
Canadiens acquire Tanner Pearson, trade Casey DeSmith to Canucks
A third-round pick in 2025 also goes to Montreal in the deal completed Tuesday.
Pearson hasn’t played since suffering a broken hand last November during a game in Montreal.
Pearson, 31, had one goal and four assists in 14 games last season.
In 590 career games with the Canucks, Pittsburgh Penguins and Los Angeles Kings, Pearson has 133 goals and 139 assists for 272 points.
The Kings picked the Barrie Colts product in the first round (30th overall) of the 2012 NHL Draft.
Pearson is in the final year of a three-year contract with a cap hit of $3.25 million.
DeSmith, 32, has been with the Pittsburgh Penguins since 2017-18. He was acquired by the Canadians in a three-team deal also involving the San Jose Sharks last month.
DeSmith was 15-16-4 with a 3.17 goals-against average and .905 save percentage last season.
In 134 career games, the undrafted DeSmith is 58-44-15 with a 2.81 GAA and .912 save percentage.
DeSmith is on the final year of a two-year deal with a cap hit of $1.8 million.
Blue Jackets GM, president admit fault in Babcock debacle, reveal more red flags
Days after Mike Babcock was accused of inappropriate workplace conduct by podcast host Paul Bissonette — with the retired NHL player claiming Babcock was forcing players to airplay personal photos on television in his office — Columbus Blue Jackets management addressed the debacle in a tense press conference at Nationwide Arena.
“It’s on us. It’s on me…. Sometimes you flat-out make a mistake. We made a mistake,” said Blue Jackets president of hockey ops John Davidson, per Associated Press reporter Stephen Whyno.
“Maybe they were right,” Davidson said of people who were critical of Mike Babcock’s hiring in the first place.
Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen, meanwhile. said he apologized to Blue Jackets players this morning for hiring the embattled head coach.
“I believe that Mike Babcock deserved another opportunity to coach,” Kekalainen said. “Obviously that was a mistake and that responsibility’s mine.”
Still, even with the talk of accountability, Kekalainen detailed what should’ve been a red flag: Babcock apparently pulled the same phone stunt he was accused of pulling with his players on the 57-year-old executive.
GM Jarmo Kekalainen said Mike Babcock did the phone thing with him as well. “Personally I had no problem with it but I can see how it might put someone in an uncomfortable situation.”
— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) September 18, 2023
But while Kekalainen stated he doesn’t believe there was any ill intent behind Babcock’s actions, he admitted that some of his players were not comfortable with his methods and that was concerning.
Blue Jackets majority owner John H. McConnell announced in a team-issued statement Monday morning that he does not anticipate further changes to the team’s leadership, erasing speculation that one or both of Kekalainen and Davidson would end up on the chopping block alongside Babcock.
“Additional disruptions would be detrimental to our players and coaches as they prepare for the opening of training camp in two days,” McConnell’s statement read.
To say this story escalated rapidly would be the understatement of the century. Initially, it seemed like it would die quickly after both Babcock and captain Boone Jenner released statements through the team on Wednesday morning refuting the Spittin’ Chiclets host’s version of events.
Both Columbus’ captain and the now-former coach described their encounter as nothing more than a way of sharing snippets of one another’s life in an effort to build a working relationship. During an appearance on the 32 Thoughts Podcast on the same day as Jenner and Babcock condemned Bissonette’s comments, Blue Jackets star winger Johnny Gaudreau gave a similar account to Jenner when asked about his photo-exchange meet-and-greet with Babcock.
But the story didn’t end there, obviously, with Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reporting things changed on Wednesday night when the NHLPA received information that some of the younger Blue Jackets players were uncomfortable with their interactions with Babcock.
Friedman later reported that the information gathered on Wednesday night prompted NHLPA executive director Marty Walsh and assistant executive director Ron Hainsey to begin an investigation before flying out to Columbus and leading what was described as an “intense” meeting.
On Friday, Walsh and Hainsey relayed their findings during a joint meeting with the NHL and NHLPA. Saturday was arguably the quietest day of the scandal in the public eye, according to ESPN’s Greg Wyshinski, because that’s the day Columbus and Babcock started plotting his exit.
By Sunday, the Blue Jackets announced that Babcock had resigned and Pascal Vincent would be taking over as the team’s head coach.
Vincent, 51, had served as the Blue Jackets’ associate coach since the 2021-22 season. Before joining Columbus, Vincent spent 10 seasons with the Winnipeg Jets organization, serving as an NHL assistant for the first half of his tenure before pivoting to head coach of the organization’s AHL affiliate, the Manitoba Moose. Vincent was named AHL Coach Of The Year for the 2017-18 season.
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